A couple of years after I moved here, in utter frustration with my lack of storage space (and a number of other “lacks”) I told myself that if the things in boxes had not been needed for two years, I could do without them. I further insisted to myself that I’d be more likely to “do something” about the pathetic no-storage situation if I didn’t even look in the boxes. I had heard or read that advice somewhere. So I threw out a few dusty boxes without even looking. As I said, I was very frustrated.
You know what’s coming don’t you? In one of those boxes were the computer discs for three — count ‘em three nearly finished manuscripts. The computers on which they were written were long gone. In another box I found partial hardcopies; extremely incomplete.
My favorite part of writing fantasy is crafting my reader’s first sight of a new world. Here is the opening for the largest and most complete of those “lost” manuscripts. The working title for the novel was simply “Lorn,” for one of the kingdoms of that world.
The turbulent depths of the Easterling Sea gave birth to a storm so great in its fury that it hardly seemed natural. Winds raged across the waters, whales and boat-friends, forerunners of the storm, fled the fury of the tempest. Rains hammered the already churning waters, as the storm blew across the sea as far as the kingdom of Lorn, where waves battered the rocky coastline above which reigned Castle Pearl.
The chill damp wind forced its way into marble walls which glowed white even in the gloom. Labyrinthine hallways wove intricate patterns far beneath the foundations of the castle. Long forgotten chambers whose occupants were not known to living memory, but resided in myth and legend, stood empty, yet exuded a sense of breathless anticipation.
The draft crept up ancient halls, stirring a centuries old coating of dust. Up spiraling staircases connecting to the “new castle”, the Marshal General was deep in thought. It had been he who had recommended this site to the king for the palatial fortress. Now it shone like a great pearl atop a cliff at the edge of the EasterlingSea.
Though the world at that time was peaceful, Jaxus Rafaire knew well that conditions could change suddenly, and he ever had the protection of the king and young princess at heart. He had chosen the site not for its panoramic views, but for its defensibility, just as some other general of generations gone had done. As the king’s marshal general, Rafaire had the white marble walls of Castle Pearl built on the remains of that fortress which had long since passed into ruin. Neither the king nor his general realized at that time that the castle was being built atop construction far older than the ruins they had cleared away.